Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | February 5, 2012

Cordia’s Review: S3, E20 – The Prom

Cordia’s Second Look
The Prom
Season 3, Episode 20
Original airing: 5/11/1999

My Rating: 66

The Good: The show finally pulls the trigger on Buffy and Angel this week. And I say, it’s about time. I’ve been over this relationship for a while and it’s been rather frustrating to watch them completely ignore the glaring issues inherent in them being together. Joyce stepped forward this week and voiced her concerns. I liked this a lot better than the Mayor saying anything. I also liked how Angel agreed with her the whole time. Both he and Buffy know their relationship won’t really work long-term. It’s nice to see them finally face up to it.

This also led naturally to Buffy’s determination to protect everyone else’s Prom night. Just because hers was ruined, it didn’t mean everyone else had to be torn to pieces by hell hounds. While the hell hounds themselves were terrible constructs (see The Bad), the purpose they served was good. Buffy protected the class of 1999 one more time so they could enjoy a perfect high school moment.

It was also very nice to see all of that acknowledged. The Class Protector Award was very sentimental and very nicely done. After three years, the school finally says “thank you” to Buffy. We’ve known for a while that the students aren’t completely ignorant. We’ve seen Buffy face down an entire sports team without lifting a finger. So having them all step forward and say something was pretty sweet.

Finally, I enjoyed Xanderin this episode. He got to finally bury the hatchet with Cordelia by buying her dress. I liked that he didn’t say anything, he just did it. It was a very mature, thoughtful gesture. I also enjoyed his interactions with Anya. As a minor recurring character, Anya has been pretty fun to watch. Her need to act on her teenage desires is so entertaining because she’s so honest and open about them, which teenagers generally aren’t. She’s been around for a long time as a demon, but now she has hormones. It’s quite fun.

The Bad: The episode wasn’t all good though. Tucker and the hell hounds were particularly terrible as Monsters of the Week. Tucker is a completely new character with no depth or back story. The one flashback of him being rejected by a girl is in no way sufficient to make us think he would find a way to summon hell hounds and release them on the unsuspecting students at the Prom. The complete lack of thought behind all this just made it seem pointless and silly. And the hell hounds looked terrible. The show still hasn’t figured out how to make humans in costumes on all fours look like anything but humans in costumes on all fours. Not scary.

I was also extremely disappointed with the ending. There is no way Buffy and Angel should be so calm with each other at Prom after having broken up approximately 36 hours ago. The time line was too condensed to allow for the proper range of emotions to occur. Angel showing up to the Prom in a full tuxedo and then immediately reminding Buffy they were broken up just came across as mean to me. It’s playing with her emotions. It didn’t feel at all appropriate or realistic.

Speaking of the Prom, I was extremely disappointed in Cordelia’s dress. Talk about inappropriate.

Favorite Moment: I loved that someone finally addressed the Wesley/Cordelia thing head on. Wesley is trying to be “gentlemanly” about the whole thing and Giles just tells him to go do it. Using the phrase “stop fluttering about” was the capper on the whole scene.

The Bottom Line: The show needed this episode to deal with Buffy and Angel’s breakup. And those parts of it were pretty good. But the hell hounds were atrocious and the very end left a sour taste in my mouth. Not a great episode, but pretty good.



  1. I totally agree with you, Cordia, I don’t like Cordelia’s dress, too. And she looks very skinny and unhealthy.. In this scene I always have to stare at her ribs.

  2. Usually I have to agree with you, Cordia, on the fashion. But this time, I must strongly disagree on Cordy’s prom dress. I love sparkly long gowns, but that’s probably b/c I’m short and way too curvy to properly pull that look off.
    I’m writing more though b/c I thought you may want a bit of trivia. Tucker was played by Brad Kane, who was the singing voice in Aladdin. He “comes back” to Buffy in Superstar to **slight spoiler: sing for Jonathan’s voice**
    Great podcast, and I’ll be sure to keep listening.

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